CIVIC CENTER – Today, New York City Council Members Margaret S. Chin, Paul Vallone and Helen Rosenthal declared victory after successfully fighting for increases in funding for senior services and to ‘right-size’ human services contracts. On June 6, 2017, the New York City Council voted to pass the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which includes an historic $22.89 million in permanent funding for senior services and a $30.3 million increase to ‘right-size’ contracts for human services organizations. In the next five years, the human services contracts will steadily increase for a total of $88 million.
“I am thrilled to join my Council colleagues and community advocates to declare victory for the Year of the Senior,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Aging. “Because of the tireless efforts of aging advocates, my Council colleagues and I were able to succeed in our fight to adequately fund senior centers, ensure seniors do not have to be on waitlists, and support those making sacrifices to care for their loved ones. This compassionate budget will allow older New Yorkers to age with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
“This $23 million increase in permanent funding is a major win for seniors throughout NYC and truly reflects the needs of this rapidly growing segment of our population,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Subcommittee on Senior Centers. “Baselining this funding will allow the City Council to allocate funds towards innovative programs and technologies that will only enhance the quality of the services we are able to provide our seniors. I will always continue to be an advocate for our city’s seniors and I am proud to have fought for these additional funds with Council Member Margaret Chin. 2017 will be remembered as the Year of the Senior!”
“In these challenging times, this year’s City budget had to accomplish two difficult objectives at once. We needed to safeguard our fiscal health in the face of possible federal cuts. But we also had to strengthen our social safety net in order to protect New Yorkers vulnerable to those cuts,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of New York City Council Committee on Contract Services. “I am very pleased to report that the 2017-18 budget does both. Its investments in humans services workers and organizations—and especially in senior services—will make a real difference for New Yorkers who rely on these services while strengthening the backbone of our City’s nonprofit sector in a trying time. I want to thank Council Members Chin and Vallone for their tireless leadership advocating for seniors. This budget makes a difference for every senior and for the 2.5 million New Yorkers who rely on human services.”
The FY 2018 budget provides $10 million to “right-size” senior centers to allow every center to hire appropriate staff and deliver necessary services. This budget also provides $1.2 million to assist the current case management waitlist and $6.49 million to address the waitlist for homecare services. With $4 million in baselined funding, the budget creates the first citywide program to support caregivers. Lastly, the Administration also baselined $1.2 million in funding for sixth congregate meals so low income seniors who need it can take an additional meal home from their neighborhood senior centers for the weekend.
“The new budget is a home run for the city’s growing senior population, and AARP is grateful that Aging Chair Chin, Council Member Vallone, the Mayor and the Council listened to the 50+,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “Base lining critical senior services to ensure that funding is there every year and including additional funding for family caregiver support will help New Yorkers age safely and with dignity in their own homes. Without these services, too many older New Yorkers would be forced to enter nursing homes that cost taxpayers – and families – too much.”
Allison Nickerson, Executive Director of LiveOn NY said, “On behalf of the 1.5 million older New Yorkers and our members who serve them, LiveOn NY is proud of City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for recognizing the value of all of us as we age. The infusion of $23 million dollars into the Department for the Aging funded services will bring much needed to relief to those older adults on home care and case management waiting lists, those who build peer communities in their senior centers, and family caregivers committed to caring for loved ones, needing respite and support. One year ago, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Chair of the Aging Committee, declared 2017 the Year of the Senior. Seniors sent an astounding total of 21,000 letters to the Mayor, Speaker and councilmembers urging them to fund senior services. These funds will build the capacity of the dynamic workforce in neighborhoods citywide dedicated to improving the conditions and opportunities for older New Yorkers. The $23 million is a sound investment in the future of New York City, making it a good place to grow old.”
“This year, Mayor de Blasio is turning the tide on decades of underfunding for senior services, said Emily Miles, Chief Program and Policy Officer for FPWA. “The infusion of nearly $23 million in baselined funding will help to ensure that older New Yorkers have vibrant senior centers and nutritious weekend meals, eliminate persistent waitlists for case management and homecare services, and provide respite for caregivers across the city. FPWA is proud to be part of the coalition that lead this effort. We thank the administration and the City Council, under the tenacious leadership of Council Members Margaret Chin and Paul Vallone, for recognizing the need and taking this critical first step towards equal opportunity for older New Yorkers.”
Nora Mora, Senior Policy Analyst at United Neighborhood Houses, said, “The City Fiscal Year 2018 Budget marks a significant victory for older New Yorkers and those who care for them. The $22.89 million in new funding for the Department for the Aging will allow for older adults to live with dignity and support in their communities, and will bring needed relief to their caregivers. Seniors help make neighborhoods vibrant and diverse, and this investment is an important step to ensure that all seniors can age in their communities. Additionally, investments to support human services organizations operations will also help to strengthen this vital safety net and bring stability to the human services sector. We thank Councilmembers Chin, Vallone, and Rosenthal for their tireless advocacy on behalf of seniors, caregivers, and human services organizations across the City.”
“The addition of more than $20 million to senior services in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget will ensure older New Yorkers and, in particular, the vulnerable elderly we serve can access the resources they need as they age. This vital funding comes at a time when 92% of those receiving meals on wheels report that home-delivered meals allow them to remain independent in their homes. We are grateful to the Council, the Mayor and our community partners for their relentless advocacy to create a budget that meets the needs of this rapidly growing population,” said Rachel Sherrow, Associate Executive Director of Citymeals.
“UJA-Federation of New York thanks Council Members Margaret Chin and Paul Vallone, their colleagues in the City Council, and the Administration for their tireless efforts throughout the budget process,” said Hillary Stuchin, Associate Driector for Government and External Relations at UJA-Federation of New York. “The $22.8 million baselined increase for the Department for the Aging will maintain and expand vital services for older adults, many of whom are served by UJA’s nonprofit partners. This expansion allows providers to better support this population through senior centers, case management services, homecare services, weekend meals and a new caregiver support program. This funding ultimately provides the opportunity for New York’s older adults to maintain their independence and thrive in this great city.”
Isabel Ching, Executive Director of Hamilton-Madison House said, “This is one of the biggest victory in the past 15 years in the field for senior services but also in the social service sector. I’m so please to see that our Chair of the Aging Committee Councilmember Margaret Chin with Councilmember Peter Vallone made this the “Year of the Senior”, because they know how important seniors are in NYC and ensuring the health of the nonprofits that deliver that service. Thank you for recognizing the hard working people who care for our communities.”
The FY 2018 budget also provides a $30.3 million investment in human services organizations. This includes $17.6 million to increase the Other Than Personnel Services and indirect cost reimbursement rate for human services providers, set to continue over the next five fiscal years for $88 million in total. The budget also includes a commitment to right-sizing human services contracts across the board, starting this fiscal year. In addition to funds for right-sizing senior services, it includes $10 million for right-sizing Administration for Children’s Services prevention services contracts and $1.1 million for services for Runaway Homeless Youth. Finally, it includes $1.6 million to eliminate a salary disparity between Adult Protective Services and Department for the Aging case workers.
“We applaud City Hall and the City Council for their crucial investment in New York’s seniors. Our city’s nonprofit human services organizations deliver the programs that are essential to the wellbeing of our communities. Through this year’s budget, the City has taken the critical first step in addressing the fiscal challenges facing these providers,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council of New York. “Most importantly, the Mayor has announced he will review existing contracts to ensure the City is paying nonprofits for the true cost of providing services. This is the solution needed to fix this broken system and reverse the decades of underfunding that have threatened the survival of this sector. This commitment will help us preserve vital services for seniors throughout the five boroughs.”
Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, said, “The Chinese-American Planning Council would like to thank the City Council for championing seniors and community based organizations that serve them,” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “Asian American seniors have one of the highest poverty rates of any population in New York City, so the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services continues to grow. The increase investments in DFTA and in contracted social services nonprofits will help to ensure that seniors can age and remain engaged in their communities. We look forward to working with the City to determine how to ensure these increased resources reach the most underserved seniors.”
“The City’s FY18 budget is one to celebrate,” said Sandy Myers, Director of Government and External Relations, Selfhelp Community Services. “The $22.8 million investment in baselined core services for older adults and those who care for them is a crucial step towards enabling seniors to age with independence and dignity, and continue contributing to the neighborhoods they call home. Further, the investments in the non-profit sector mean that our centers and programs will now be better equipped to support a population that is living longer. On behalf of the 20,000 older New Yorkers served by Selfhelp Community Services, I want to applaud the steadfast leadership of Council Members Chin, Vallone, and Rosenthal, as well as the work of Mayor deBlasio, Department for the Aging Commissioner Corrado, and the City Council under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.”
“JASA is particularly grateful that we are being funded to increase APS case workers’ salaries. This is a well-deserved increase for staff doing challenging work with vulnerable New Yorkers. Thank you for hearing us and making this happen,” said Molly Krakowski, Executive Director of JASA.